Friday, August 20, 2010

FROM THE BARREL OF MY PEN
By Gonzalo “Jun” Policarpio



TORTURE IN THE PHILIPPINES?



Vivid video images of a robbery suspect being brutally tortured by a police officer in a Manila Police Precinct may conveniently come out as a good argument for Filipinos illegally staying in the United States who would think of filing for asylum, withholding of removal and protection under the Geneva Convention against Torture. The poor detainee was shown on video completely naked on the ground being whipped by another person who was also caught in the act of pulling with a string the male prisoner’s penis.

Fear of Torture is one of the valid grounds for granting an alien the benefit of staying in the United States indefinitely. The United States government has been very strict in condemning any act of torture even against terrorists.

Torture of prisoners and detainees is widely used in China, in Latin America, and other authoritarian countries as reported in the annual U.S. State Department Human Rights Report. It is very hard to believe that it can happen to a democracy-loving and Christian country like the Philippines.

Yes, it’s true that some members of the New Police Department one time tortured an African-American detainee by shoving a toilet bowl plunger into his anus. But American justice moved quickly. The involved lawmen were punished severely while the torture victim received millions of dollars for punitive damages. He is now a multi-millionaire living in Florida.

I just hope that justice under the Aquino administration will move quickly by prosecuting the torturers, punish them severely, and provide appropriate payment of monetary damages to the victim.

I expect to hear about this Filipino torture victim as a future multi-millionaire living in Serendra 1 in Taguig City. He does not need to come to the United States and apply for asylum.

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